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The souvenir that can render your passport invalid

You’ve travelled across the world and there you are. In the Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. You’re not here for the Welsh cakes (although, yum!), you’re here because when in Wales, why not visit the town with the world’s longest name? And hey, isn’t it cool that they have a stamp?


So you get your passport stamped. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch isn’t the only place that offers these cute little stamps? The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan, the Antarctic Heritage, Easter Island...


And Machu Picchu. 



Pre-pandemic, Tina Sibley was booked to fly from Madrid to Phuket. But the British passport holder had been to Machu Picchu and had her passport stamped, The Sun reported.


“Do not get these tourist stamps in your passport!” she wrote on Facebook.


“I’ve just been denied boarding my flight to Thailand because of them. I’m gutted! Apparently they can invalidate your passport and immigrations are getting strict.”


Sibley spent about $1800 on an emergency document and new flights, despite the British Embassy saying her passport was still valid. 


Aussies need to be particularly vigilant about what goes in our passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advising that the “alteration or tampering” of passports can stop people from travelling, News Corp reported. 


If you’re travelling to the United States, you must only have “foreign countries place stamps or make notations or additions to this passport”.


Oh, and keep the kids away from your important documents. A woman was denied entry to Taiwan after her daughter added a Hello Kitty stamp to her passport...


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Published: 7 June 2021

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